Coffee stain art

The interesting part of working with coffee stains is that for some artists it just happened by accident. Many people in the world can’t start the day with a cup of coffee but I suppose the artists mind and eyes go beyond that. I too see art and ways of working with it in my everyday life with everything around me. These researches just motivates me to continue looking for ways of expressing art and not to limit myself to a studio full of “made for art” materials and tools. In the era of recycling, reuse, reduce it is crucial to do art and at the same time having a way to collaborate with the environment getting the attention of audience to art and how it was made. I think coffee, tea a wine stain has similar effect of watercolours except that it creates monochromatic pieces, not very easy to achieve but it also seems to be a therapeutic process: to use something pleasant to the senses: see, smell, touch and taste. I like very much the work of Hong Yi for its details and specially for its scale. Her portraits are very accurate and it surely done with time and patience. Since I have been very interested in expressive art, quick, energetic and spontaneous, I think practising “coffee stain art” would be a good way for the to focus more, reflect and change the method in order to learn how it triggers in me.

Karen Elland has an impressive realistic style in her coffee stain paintings. She reproduces famous pieces and create very accurate ones. Her dark and light contrast is perfect and her attention to details must require a lot time, observation and patience. It is visually amazing but I like more lose mark making and the technique Houng Yi uses for her portraits.

“What makes an artist unique is when they do things differently.” said Gaul. “You’ve gotta keep reaching. A true artist will find something that takes what they create and takes it to the next level. There’s something to be said for coming up with your own idea.” – Ron Gaul – The daily Chronicle article – September 20,2012

Exercise 4.1- Look, no hands


  1. List as many different mark-making processes as you can think of. Write another list of as many different materials as you can think of. Eg: nail, polish, wax, tea/coffee, charcoal salt…..
  2. Take some large sheets of paper and mask areas of each one. This means separate off an area to work within ( by taping it or laying paper across parts to be left clean). You decide on the size and position of these masked areas. You may want to create a series of stripes, a small box in one corner or use the whole sheet.
  3. Make a set of drawings using pair of processes and materials from your list, operating on your cropped area. Pin up your drawings and spend time with them. Decide whether you want to affect them with a further act or process.




From Top left: styrofoam flakes from a football, burnet baking paper, watercolour on candle drops, sewing thread glued on paper


Rubber bands randomly thrown on paper
Coffee stain granules on paper
Tea stain and soft pastels as counterpart
football flakes for artwork!!

Reflection on exercise 4.1

It was very revealing trying unusual media and just lead it to a certain flow without intervene in the outcome. It felt like sort of a scientific experiment without any expectations rather than apply materials and procedure and record the results. It taught me how to control amounts, timing, movement and spontaneity. It gives a possibility to think out of the box and take risks in terms of unusual materials to make art. It also gave me the understanding that when working with concepts, materials can add a fair amount of meaning and expression. Throwing rubber bands randomly on black paper resulted in an interesting image. Burning baking paper in certain spots made the noise and appeared the same way: popcorn. Threads of different colour create a intricate pattern and using styrofoam flakes from an old football was an unexpected fun idea. I particularly enjoyed working with coffee stain which made me research for artists who uses it as media under “coffee stain art”- researches .  I also like the idea of tea stain and affecting  the result later on with more usual drawing media like pastel pencils. This experiment has broaden my understanding of reaching out new ways of expression.


Contextual study point 12: Annette Robinson and Sue Gilmore

The work of Annette Robinson shows the multi faceted ways to approach an image. How she sees the “Sticklebricks” through different angles, in some parts of it, in photography, stamps and in relief. It changes the feeling in each different project. The numerous possibilities she achieved is a great source of how the process of trying the possibilities becomes art in  unpredictable ways. The “Sticklebricks” (if you don’t know it is a toy) could be mistaken be a textile pattern, a architectural study or even a graphic comic image. It is the same object done in different methods that turns the work to be very interesting. Only after a great deal of images that her idea/project takes a body and make sense. If it was only a couple drawings of a piece of toy it would not be a subject of exposition but her ways of showing it in so many way that creates a solid intention of her efforts to develop something ordinary into a artistic level.

The work of Sue Gilmore is about taking the time, preparing, having it transforming and finally let the result happen. In her case, the process of making charcoal to execute her conceptual work -pyrolisis- is what makes me think that not only about the visual, scale and materials used that matters  but most importantly focusing in the process itself . In this module, for The process project , work like hers helps so much people like me in a long distance online course to figure out ways and reasons to develop ideas and concept reaching the understanding required to present a final piece.

Contextual study point 11: Grayson Perry

Both articles and video interview brought  many insights of Grayson Perry’s ways and nature of his works. He is definitely a piece of art himself. He extended his way of expressing himself through his art all the way to his crossdressing and he enjoys showing it. As mentioned on his video interview by Tim Marlow – Director of artistic Programmes of the Royal Academy , Grayson Perry above all is also a performer, without forcing it, it is who he is. Grayson Perry is so  humbly opened about who he is and I think that is one of the reasons people get so engaged in his talks and with  his art. Bright colours and images, a variety of subjects and approaches, he deals with the matters of the world. His depiction is explicit , full of humour, provoking and seducing ways. On the article about his first artwork, I relate to him in the sense that sometimes in the middle of the night, ideas come to his head and he has to just doodle some of it on paper. In preparation for his work it will have some additions and changes but the foundation will be pretty much a resemblance of what he had first sketched. The same happens to me, although I think I am not confident or experienced enough to develop my initial ideas and sketches all the way to a final piece, YET!. It is motivating and inspiring to know that an artist do not need to stick with a subject all the time. Grayson Perry deals with his childhood matters, the unconscious ,politics, what is going on in the world at the moment, and put images and pieces together in very appealing ways. I like how he depict figures in the foreground a lot bigger than the background.  I think he can play around with his feeling and moods in his art because his style is consistent and from tapestry to his vases, mixing medias and textures and materials, he has a unique style and that is what makes him so recognised in the world of art at the present time. Grayson made use of all his experiences from emotional pain and self-discovery, strong and bright pieces of art but also with a lot of light feelings  and humorous touch. His is audacious but also a simple and committed artist. He does every bit of his art himself. It feels like that he really does it for him and had a great opportunity to show it to the world and attracted a lot admirers. I think it could be that he mirror what many people feel and want to be.  Most of us, sometimes we are not brave enough to completely open up our most deep and darkest secrets not realising we are all the same!

my prettylittleartcareer
My little pretty Art career – Grayson Perry

I chose the image above to make my own comments about Grayson Perry’s art. His colours are so bright, there is so much information and patterns and shapes but yet it all has a balance. His foreground and middle ground and background are well depicted. I feel like looking at a very modern Rennaisance art, if there was no such term as “Contemporary art”. He depicts the type of food, outfits, furniture… all very British, very traditional. It in the little details like the tea and jam on the table, the slippers on the Botton right, the vegetables on top of a newspaper, the tea towel in the back of the lady playing on her phone, the landscape in the background.The patterns on the ladies dress and skirt reminds me of vintage clothes from second hand shops. His colours ,patterns and colour contrast  reminds me a bit of Anthony Green’s work.  It tells a story as well, it is fun, bright,  beautiful and well balanced.

Green, Anthony, b.1939; Mr and Mrs Stanley Joscelyne: The Second Marriage
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Joscelyne: the second marriage by Anthony Green
The birth of John The Baptist – by Tintoretto 1550

Contextual study point 10: Notations exhibition

Going through the Essay ‘The Porous Practice of Drawing’, by Meredith Malone, in my understanding, drawing overall is a important component to the practise of art . Rather the artist  focus on the material or on the ideas ;the visual and physical results needs a starting point. Sculptures, installation, site-specific work or paintings are a result of processes which sometimes is what the drawings will influence most or when the drawings were simply a jot down of a moment, and will dissolve or lose importance depending on the artists outcome , progression or improvisation through beginning to end. Donal Judd and Dan Flavin gave high values of their drawings which for them exposed the process of creation and stranded as vital counterpoints to the sterile perfection of the standardised industrial Minimalist object. There is a lot information that goes into the drawings, and  for me it is equivalent to a manual of instructions and steps in order for the artist to conclude his ideas into the piece he wants. Carl Andre on the other hand didn’t think of drawing to be as essential as Dan Flavin. He believed that in his sculptures , the process would reveals itself as he goes through it. Richard Serra was the same and he stated ” I never make sketches or drawing for sculptures. I don’t work from an a priori concept or image. Sculptors who work from drawings, depictions, illustrations are more than likely removed from the working process with material and construction”. He still used his drawing though but his approach to it differed of the one from Dan Flavin. In the same way that Barry Le va gave a lot importance to his drawings. Some of his statements about drawings prove it. ” to be alone with myself”, “to discover and clarify my thoughts”, ” visualise my thoughts” and to ” convince myself some thoughts are worth pursuing”. Drawing will play a different role for different artists from conceptual or experimental, it will act as decision making  or feeling aroused during the process by the artist. The very unconventional Willian Anastasi who developed a series of blind drawing in the subway journeys to a more systematic approach of Sol LeWitt , Three-part variations on three different kinds of Cubes, 1967.

“Visualise my thoughts” ( Notes (undated), reprinted in Accumulated Vision: Barry Le Va (Philadelphia: institute of Compotemporary Art, 2005, 89.) would be the quote that describes best what drawing means to me. Sometimes the images does not come out exactly the way I have in my mind. Sometimes the result is disappointing and I still can’t pinpoint where it went wrong and sometimes it goes above my expectations and gives me an extra push to take my ideas further as soon as I have the main starter on paper.

I liked the idea of Anastasi of blind drawing, I haven’t tried exactly as her work has been described but I usually have some great experiences on typical doodling or sketching random images while talking on the phone or listening to music. It is not a planned drawing or with any intention. It captures my unconscious movements that sometimes will triggers ideas or simply bring out my mind images and thinking process. Through this module I discovered the pleasure and purpose of simply mark making to reach another level of drawing. I am attracted to a more expressive and energetic sort of drawings rather than systematic and planned. EDM is helping me to refine some skills that I think I always had but did not consider relevant to the act of drawing. As a learner of art, my concept use to be of drawing to form a figure or object in details and aesthetic shape. I feel a lot more satisfaction in drawing now that I take it as simply my own way of expression, exploring new materials and techniques and find a way to create meaningful pieces of my own expression.




Assignment 3 – 3D tree house


Assignment 3 – “Tree house”

For this Assignment three I have decided to make an object of a drawing as I really enjoyed exercise 3.1- Constructing a drawing. It was a very simple construction of a drawing but gave me the feeling of what if I could transform some of my ideas on paper in an object? I think that Part Three gave me a bit of  knowledge of how can an idea, a sketch, being transformed into a 3D image. I learned that now Drawing and sculpture can be intertwined and many artists I have looked at in the Drawing Room- Exhibitions ( 14 September – 11 November 2012) at: like Anna Barriball, Aleana Egan and Knut Henrick are using drawing media as a start of what could or not started as a drawing and become a sculpture. Louise Borgeois and Henry Moore who I have researched about in Part one would also have many of their  ideas sketched before turn some of them into sculptures.

I have also being always fascinated by miniatures and particularly, the work of  Tatsuya Tanaka have inspired me with my initial idea for this Assignment. Although Tatsuya doesn’t mention drawing but taking photos of small objects and work purely on images,  I still consider his creative skills in developing his artwork very detailed, meticulous and consistent.


Miniature Artist ,Tatsuya Tanaka ( 2018) [user-generated content online] Creat. Tanaka Tatsuya, 13 February 2018 at :

Another inspiration for this Assignment is my favourite Animator of all times, Hayao Miyazaki. The creator of Totoro, a creature who lived inside a tree trunk, and I have the art work book of all the drawing that became the film in 1988.

My Neighbour Totoro Trailer ,( 2008) ,[user- generated content online] Creat, Chung, Kevin, 15 March 2008 at :

I join some ideas of Tatsuya Tanaka, Hayao Miyazaki and my sketches to build a project of a miniature tree trunk bedroom entitled :” My dream bedroom. I built it out of recycled cardboard boxes, toilet rolls and brown paper. I joined all the parts together with masking tape and hot glue and painted with acrylic paint. The inside of the trunk  I designed with some of my kids old toys.  A small jewellery box for a bed, napkins for the carpet, a hand made  duvet and pillows made out of  pieces of cloths I had at home, and the person and fruits made of kids play dough. I cut some tiny pieces of clothes and hang on the ladder. My masterpiece wall picture of one of my favourite artists: Egon Schiele. The inside  deco pretty much describes my aspirations: minimalistic, simple and art driven. I spent two whole weekends working on this project but I am happy with the result.







 Assignment 3 Reflection

EDM module has had a big impact on how I use to see drawing. From simple sketches to mixed media, collage, 3D, sculptures and other experimental art, I now feel that I can take my ideas further than the paper. I am learning the process of transforming and exploring ways of drawing but I have come so far to the conclusion that it is a huge universe full of possibilities. This Part 3 has also helped me to investigate more about artists who work in unusual ways, who beyond being creative and artistic, take risks to think out of the box in terms of making art. I have tried collage, different medias, 3D drawings, understanding how installations take space and place and although I still feel there is a long way to go for me to define a style and finding my way, I am glad that I even was capable of execute a work beginning to end and finished up with my 3D/sculptures piece of art. It is surely an amateur work but it also shows my learning journey, through depicting what was in my mind, what had inspired me and how I reproduced in a way that I can share with people my imagination. So far I am still keen on exploring more mixed media and expressive ways of mark making. I am looking forward to developing more knowledge and understanding of “the process” which will be in  Part four. My hang out video call with my Tutor Adam Thompson is always very helpful and motivating as I feel confident listening to his positive comments about my previous work and his suggestions on pushing my self more, take more risks and do more and more of what interests me. My time is definitely an issue as well as the lack of appropriate space in my house, but I try my best and although I know there are things I would love to give it a go ( like large scale pieces) . Adam gave me some great tips of how I can keep doing it in smaller panels and then join them together to see a big picture. I will definitely try it.

From My Tutor Adam Thompson on report 2: Points for Assignment 3

  • Continue to experiment and explore your visual thinking in different ways, using a wide range of methods and approaches learnt so far 
  • Experiment working on a larger scale and consider how are your body movement affects the type of marks you can make.
  • Build confidence with your subject matter and integrate themes of personal interests into the exercises and assignments
  • Reflect on this feedback on your blog with a summary of the key points.

As I review my pointers for this Assignment I think I have explored something really out of my comfort zone and I am very proud of it. I have never tried a 3D artpiece and this experience gave me confidence to keep doing it and to experiment other materials as well.

Katia Chester Report 3




Exercise 3.4 – Installing a drawing


  1. Find a room or space that you have an affinity with and make some brief notes about what draws you to it.
  2. Use our sketchbook to think about and draw the room and your relationship to it. Don’t make finished drawings or do lot of writing- just think and draw
  3. Make a drawing which you can site in the room in response to some of your thoughts about it. You may really enjoy seeing cut flowers in a room, for example. Perhaps you would like to draw some flowers and position the drawing on the shelf where flowers might go. You might have chosen a room where light falls beautifully against  the wall paper. Perhaps you can make a drawing of those abstract forms. The room might be an office where you often feel you would rather be in the garden than typing. Perhaps you could draw a lovely Rothko-esque escape hatch.



How your own drawing relates to the research you did? What aspects of the room did you find yourself responding to ? Was it the space itself, or the story of its usage?

I look for some installations on bedroom and hardly find anything. I already had in my mind “My bed” by Tracey Emin. I love her work and how open she is about her live and how she puts it down into her artwork. She shows struggles and pains without shame and I think it is brave and noble of her as we all have so many struggles and pains in life and it take guts to openly show that to an open public. When I chose my bedroom was simply for the fact that it is the only space purely to myself in the house. I have my privacy there, it is my escape from my busy days. It is where I lay on my bed and dream about things I would love to do, places I would like to be. I start sketching just thinking about how important is to have that space but how I wish to have it the way I want… The apartment I live is old, already furnished. Old and ugly furniture and there are so many things I wanted in my bedroom to make it cozy… Through my sketches came out things like: a four posted bed, big clocks without handles ( I hate having to wake up early and always having my life depending on time). Slowly thoughts of having my bed in unusual spaces came out. A bedroom in the clouds or in the middle of a lake , a bed in the sky, a bed in the middle of the jungle… Finally it clicked! How amazing would be to have my bed on top of an old, huge tree? A cozy bed, among branches, leaves, gaps through to look at the sky, on top, where I am completely alone, in piece, no noise, no kids, no construction sites around, no ugly furnitures and walls…. More than a bedroom, the bed itself is what most attracts me to that room. Warm, cozy, private.